Date of Award


Call Number

LB1062.6 S36 2015

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy


Muskie School of Public Service

First Advisor

David Silvernail

Second Advisor

Catherine Fallona

Third Advisor

George Sheckart


Student priorities, students succeed as learners, students' emotional needs


Researchers agree that students who are actively engaged in their own educations have more successful educational experiences. Studies show a connection between engagement and success in all stages of academic growth. However, researchers have made assumptions about the definition of student engagement by defining it through the adult lens. Some research suggests that engagement measured by visible behavior may be measuring only the appearance of engagement, not necessarily active engagement. (Lankshear & Knobel, 2005; Pope, 2001) The purpose of this research was to uncover the characteristics of student engagement from the source: the child. Research has shown that lack of success in the later years of school often stems from disengagement in the early years of formal education.